I'm excited about Hays. What he's doing is pretty incredible.
As I was thinking through comparisons, I was thinking about high average, low walk, good power players - and thought of someone. So I looked up his minor league stats.
Age 20: (A): .333/.383/.544/.927 (16 homers, 10 triples, 21 doubles in 464 AB's; 30 BB's, 45 K's)
Age 21 (A+ & AA): .360/.431/.618/1.049 (24 homers, 8 triples, 40 doubles in 497 AB's; 54 BB's, 52 K's) Note: AA line was .360/.438/.612/1.050 in 417 AB's
**He also had a cup of coffee in the majors going 5-27 w/1 HR and a .481 OPS (0 BB, 3 K's)
Compared with Hays:
Age 20 (A-): .336/.386/.514/.900 (4 homers, 2 triples, 9 doubles in 140 AB's; 11 BB's, 32 K's)
Age 21 (A+ & AA): .337/.372/.615/.987 (28 homers, 5 triples, 28 doubles in 434 AB's; 20 BB's, 69 K's) Note: AA line is .350/.383/.615/1.033 in 172 AB's
Obviously, stats don't tell the whole story and the first player has the better stats. He was produced at slightly higher levels (Age 20 - A; Age 21 - (mostly) AA as opposed to Hays...Age 20 - A-; Age 21 - will be pretty evenly split between A+/AA ). The big difference to me is the first player's plate discipline - more BB's than K's at AA is pretty impressive (51 BB's; 42 K's). Meanwhile, Hays is striking out about 3.5 times for every BB. Admittedly, I'm not well versed enough in prospect development to know what these differences mean in terms of production at the ML level.
That said, there's some interesting similarities. In those 2 seasons, the first player hit .347 while Hays is hitting .337. Hays is actually hitting for a little more pure power (About a HR every 18 AB (HR every 16 AB this year) vs. the first player's HR every 23 AB (HR about every 20.5 AB's as a 21 y/o), though the first player had more XBH per AB.
The first player is Vladimir Guerrero. Now, it's highly highly doubtful that Hays will anywhere close to be Vlad 2.0. Vlad was one of the best players of his generation. But looking at some of the similarities, it's exciting to think of the player Hays has the *potential* to be.
(Side note - as I looked at a few pretty good players stats in the minors, I noticed that several had a cup of coffee at the end of a really good season - and struggled mightily. Several then produced really well the following season (Vlad being a prime example). If the O's are in it, I could see a lot of hesitation in calling Hays up unless they feel he has the chance to be an impact defender (i.e, Manny in 2012) down the stretch.)